Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

19 November 2011

The Gettysburg Address of the OWS: "Goodbye life and freedom. License to kill is here. James Bond and Darth Vader is in your nabourhood."

Posted 1 day ago on Nov. 17, 2011, 6:43 p.m. EST by MagPie22

From OccupyWallStreet:

"The army and police and government will not care and think one second about shooting or killing babies or children. Army and police are only holding back the killings because they do not want the mess and the cleanup job. Secondly they believe a killingspree might make people revolt and in such a case the army and police will really have to start the killings and believe it is a little too early for the people to accept this. But in about 15 to 20 years from now it will be common to see the police and army kill at random. They will kill anyone and especially people revolting. They will kill and send in a special force cleaning team and kill anyone trying to collect evidence.

Police andarmy will arrest at will and if someone tries to revolt they will just drop a huge bomb in the area and blaim it on the people or person revolting and the survivers will now revolt against thir own people until everyone complies.

We are living in Orson Wells world and it is even worse. In 20 years time it will be so bad that your socalled freedom is a thing of the past. Every single movement you make will be controlled and if you do something out of the dictated you will be killed or perhaps just have all your resouces plugged out like debit-figures in the bank and your smartphone key will be blocked to get inside your work and essentially you will be on a nomans land mission and you will dies from starvation eventually.

Secret spies are in every street allready and the mission is called full control. Technology is used to control you from the invention of TV to the atom bomb and the next invention to be used is the smartphone. Next invention will be the chipimplant which will promiss a life of heavensand without it you are lost. GPS build in and every transaction tracked. James Bond tried all the technologies they could invent for him and today his operation is so much more easy.

Say no and reinvent the world as we know it.

Education. Education. Education.

It is probably too late and will take perhaps 50 years from now to turn the ship. It is worse a try but persnally I believe stupidity looses hence we are lost no matter how hard the 99% tries. 90% of the 99% are uneducated and illiterates so the battle is on for sure. 

Let the games begin."

Yeah, I know.  My spellchequer and I are speechless, too.

America Before The Entitlement State


Reacting to calls for cuts in entitlement programs, House Democrat Henry Waxman fumed: 

“The Republicans want us to repeal the twentieth century.” Sound bites don’t get much better than that. After all, the world before the twentieth century–before the New Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society–was a dark, dangerous, heartless place where hordes of Americans starved in the streets.

Except it wasn’t and they didn’t. The actual history of America shows something else entirely: picking your neighbors’ pockets is not a necessity of survival. Before America’s entitlement state, free individuals planned for and coped with tough times, taking responsibility for their own lives.

In the 19th century, even though capitalism had only existed for a short time, and had just started putting a dent in pre-capitalism’s legacy of poverty, the vast, vast majority of Americans were already able to support their own lives through their own productive work. Only a tiny fraction of a sliver of a minority depended on assistance and aid–and there was no shortage of aid available to help that minority.

But in a culture that revered individual responsibility and regarded being “on the dole” as shameful, formal charity was almost always a last resort. Typically people who hit tough times would first dip into their savings. They might take out loans and get their hands on whatever commercial credit was available. If that wasn’t enough, they might insist that other family members enter the workforce. And that was just the start.

“Those in need,” historian Walter Trattner writes, “. . . looked first to family, kin, and neighbors for aid, including the landlord, who sometimes deferred the rent; the local butcher or grocer, who frequently carried them for a while by allowing bills to go unpaid; and the local saloonkeeper, who often came to their aid by providing loans and outright gifts, including free meals and, on occasion, temporary jobs. Next, the needy sought assistance from various agencies in the community–those of their own devising, such as churches or religious groups, social and fraternal associations, mutual aid societies, local ethnic groups, and trade unions.”

One of the most fascinating phenomena to arise during this time were mutual aid societies–organizations that let people insure against the very risks that entitlement programs would later claim to address. These societies were not charities, but private associations of individuals. Those who chose to join would voluntarily pay membership dues in return for a defined schedule of benefits, which, depending on the society, could include life insurance, permanent disability, sickness and accident, old-age, or funeral benefits.

Mutual aid societies weren’t private precursors to the entitlement state, with its one-size-fits-all schemes like Social Security and Medicare. Because the societies were private, they offered a wide range of options to fit a wide range of needs. And because they were voluntary, individuals joined only when the programs made financial sense to them. How many of us would throw dollar bills down the Social Security money pit if we had a choice?

Only when other options were exhausted would people turn to formal private charities. By the mid-nineteenth century, groups aiming to help widows, orphans, and other “worthy poor” were launched in every major city in America. There were some government welfare programs, but they were minuscule compared to private efforts.

In 1910, in New York State, for instance, 151 private benevolent groups provided care for children, and 216 provided care for adults or adults with children. If you were homeless in Chicago in 1933, for example, you could find shelter at one of the city’s 614 YMCAs, or one of its 89 Salvation Army barracks, or one of its 75 Goodwill Industries dormitories.

“In fact,” writes Trattner, “so rapidly did private agencies multiply that before long America’s larger cities had what to many people was an embarrassing number of them. Charity directories took as many as 100 pages to list and describe the numerous voluntary agencies that sought to alleviate misery, and combat every imaginable emergency.”

It all makes you wonder: If Americans could thrive without an entitlement state a century ago, how much easier would it be today, when Americans are so rich that 95 percent of our “poor” own color TVs? But we won’t get rid of the entitlement state until we get rid of today’s widespread entitlement mentality, and return to a society in which individual responsibility is the watchword.

Europe, 2021

Niall Ferguson peers into Europe's future and sees Greek gardeners, German sunbathers—and a new fiscal union. Welcome to the other United States.

Map illustration by Peter Arkle

Welcome to Europe, 2021. Ten years have elapsed since the great crisis of 2010-11, which claimed the scalps of no fewer than 10 governments, including Spain and France. Some things have stayed the same, but a lot has changed.

The euro is still circulating, though banknotes are now seldom seen. (Indeed, the ease of electronic payments now makes some people wonder why creating a single European currency ever seemed worth the effort.) But Brussels has been abandoned as Europe's political headquarters. Vienna has been a great success.

"There is something about the Habsburg legacy," explains the dynamic new Austrian Chancellor Marsha Radetzky. "It just seems to make multinational politics so much more fun."

The Germans also like the new arrangements. "For some reason, we never felt very welcome in Belgium," recalls German Chancellor Reinhold Siegfried von Gotha-Dämmerung.

Life is still far from easy in the peripheral states of the United States of Europe (as the euro zone is now known). Unemployment in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain has soared to 20%. But the creation of a new system of fiscal federalism in 2012 has ensured a steady stream of funds from the north European core.

Like East Germans before them, South Europeans have grown accustomed to this trade-off. With a fifth of their region's population over 65 and a fifth unemployed, people have time to enjoy the good things in life. And there are plenty of euros to be made in this gray economy, working as maids or gardeners for the Germans, all of whom now have their second homes in the sunny south.

The U.S.E. has actually gained some members. Lithuania and Latvia stuck to their plan of joining the euro, following the example of their neighbor Estonia. Poland, under the dynamic leadership of former Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, did the same. These new countries are the poster children of the new Europe, attracting German investment with their flat taxes and relatively low wages.

But other countries have left.

David Cameron—now beginning his fourth term as British prime minister—thanks his lucky stars that, reluctantly yielding to pressure from the Euroskeptics in his own party, he decided to risk a referendum on EU membership. His Liberal Democrat coalition partners committed political suicide by joining Labour's disastrous "Yeah to Europe" campaign.

Egged on by the pugnacious London tabloids, the public voted to leave by a margin of 59% to 41%, and then handed the Tories an absolute majority in the House of Commons. Freed from the red tape of Brussels, England is now the favored destination of Chinese foreign direct investment in Europe. And rich Chinese love their Chelsea apartments, not to mention their splendid Scottish shooting estates.

In some ways this federal Europe would gladden the hearts of the founding fathers of European integration. At its heart is the Franco-German partnership launched by Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman in the 1950s. But the U.S.E. of 2021 is a very different thing from the European Union that fell apart in 2011.
* * *
It was fitting that the disintegration of the EU should be centered on the two great cradles of Western civilization, Athens and Rome. But George Papandreou and Silvio Berlusconi were by no means the first European leaders to fall victim to what might be called the curse of the euro.

Since financial fear had started to spread through the euro zone in June 2010, no fewer than seven other governments had fallen: in the Netherlands, Slovakia, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Portugal and Slovenia. The fact that nine governments fell in less than 18 months—with another soon to follow—was in itself remarkable.

But not only had the euro become a government-killing machine. It was also fostering a new generation of populist movements, like the Dutch Party for Freedom and the True Finns. Belgium was on the verge of splitting in two. The very structures of European politics were breaking down.

Who would be next? The answer was obvious. After the election of Nov. 20, 2011, the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, stepped down. His defeat was such a foregone conclusion that he had decided the previous April not to bother seeking re-election.
And after him? The next leader in the crosshairs was the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who was up for re-election the following April.

The question on everyone's minds back in November 2011 was whether Europe's monetary union—so painstakingly created in the 1990s—was about to collapse. Many pundits thought so. Indeed, New York University's influential Nouriel Roubini argued that not only Greece but also Italy would have to leave—or be kicked out of—the euro zone.

But if that had happened, it is hard to see how the single currency could have survived. The speculators would immediately have turned their attention to the banks in the next weakest link (probably Spain). Meanwhile, the departing countries would have found themselves even worse off than before. Overnight all of their banks and half of their nonfinancial corporations would have been rendered insolvent, with euro-denominated liabilities but drachma or lira assets.

Restoring the old currencies also would have been ruinously expensive at a time of already chronic deficits. New borrowing would have been impossible to finance other than by printing money. These countries would quickly have found themselves in an inflationary tailspin that would have negated any benefits of devaluation. 

Some bumpy moments in recent EU history.

For all these reasons, I never seriously expected the euro zone to break up. To my mind, it seemed much more likely that the currency would survive—but that the European Union would disintegrate. After all, there was no legal mechanism for a country like Greece to leave the monetary union. But under the Lisbon Treaty's special article 50, a member state could leave the EU. And that is precisely what the British did.



Britain got lucky. Accidentally, because of a personal feud between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom didn't join the euro zone after Labour came to power in 1997. As a result, the U.K. was spared what would have been an economic calamity when the financial crisis struck.

With a fiscal position little better than most of the Mediterranean countries' and a far larger banking system than in any other European economy, Britain with the euro would have been Ireland to the power of eight. Instead, the Bank of England was able to pursue an aggressively expansionary policy. Zero rates, quantitative easing and devaluation greatly mitigated the pain and allowed the "Iron Chancellor" George Osborne to get ahead of the bond markets with pre-emptive austerity. A better advertisement for the benefits of national autonomy would have been hard to devise.

At the beginning of David Cameron's premiership in 2010, there had been fears that the United Kingdom might break up. But the financial crisis put the Scots off independence; small countries had fared abysmally. And in 2013, in a historical twist only a few die-hard Ulster Unionists had dreamt possible, the Republic of Ireland's voters opted to exchange the austerity of the U.S.E. for the prosperity of the U.K. Postsectarian Irishmen celebrated their citizenship in a Reunited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with the slogan: "Better Brits Than Brussels."

Another thing no one had anticipated in 2011 was developments in Scandinavia. Inspired by the True Finns in Helsinki, the Swedes and Danes—who had never joined the euro—refused to accept the German proposal for a "transfer union" to bail out Southern Europe. When the energy-rich Norwegians suggested a five-country Norse League, bringing in Iceland, too, the proposal struck a chord.

The new arrangements are not especially popular in Germany, admittedly. But unlike in other countries, from the Netherlands to Hungary, any kind of populist politics continues to be verboten in Germany. The attempt to launch a "True Germans" party (Die wahren Deutschen) fizzled out amid the usual charges of neo-Nazism.

The defeat of Angela Merkel's coalition in 2013 came as no surprise following the German banking crisis of the previous year. Taxpayers were up in arms about Ms. Merkel's decision to bail out Deutsche Bank, despite the fact that Deutsche's loans to the ill-fated European Financial Stability Fund had been made at her government's behest. The German public was simply fed up with bailing out bankers. "Occupy Frankfurt" won.

Yet the opposition Social Democrats essentially pursued the same policies as before, only with more pro-European conviction. It was the SPD that pushed through the treaty revision that created the European Finance Funding Office (fondly referred to in the British press as "EffOff"), effectively a European Treasury Department to be based in Vienna.

It was the SPD that positively welcomed the departure of the awkward Brits and Scandinavians, persuading the remaining 21 countries to join Germany in a new federal United States of Europe under the Treaty of Potsdam in 2014. With the accession of the six remaining former Yugoslav states—Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia—total membership in the U.S.E. rose to 28, one more than in the precrisis EU. With the separation of Flanders and Wallonia, the total rose to 29.

Crucially, too, it was the SPD that whitewashed the actions of Mario Draghi, the Italian banker who had become president of the European Central Bank in early November 2011. 

Mr. Draghi went far beyond his mandate in the massive indirect buying of Italian and Spanish bonds that so dramatically ended the bond-market crisis just weeks after he took office. In effect, he turned the ECB into a lender of last resort for governments.

But Mr. Draghi's brand of quantitative easing had the great merit of working. Expanding the ECB balance sheet put a floor under asset prices and restored confidence in the entire European financial system, much as had happened in the U.S. in 2009. As Mr. Draghi said in an interview in December 2011, "The euro could only be saved by printing it." 

So the European monetary union did not fall apart, despite the dire predictions of the pundits in late 2011. On the contrary, in 2021 the euro is being used by more countries than before the crisis. 

As accession talks begin with Ukraine, German officials talk excitedly about a future Treaty of Yalta, dividing Eastern Europe anew into Russian and European spheres of influence. One source close to Chancellor Gotha-Dämmerung joked last week: "We don't mind the Russians having the pipelines, so long as we get to keep the Black Sea beaches."



On reflection, it was perhaps just as well that the euro was saved. A complete disintegration of the euro zone, with all the monetary chaos that it would have entailed, might have had some nasty unintended consequences. It was easy to forget, amid the febrile machinations that ousted Messrs. Papandreou and Berlusconi, that even more dramatic events were unfolding on the other side of the Mediterranean.

Mark Nerys
Back then, in 2011, there were still those who believed that North Africa and the Middle East were entering a bright new era of democracy. But from the vantage point of 2021, such optimism seems almost incomprehensible.

The events of 2012 shook not just Europe but the whole world. The Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities threw a lit match into the powder keg of the "Arab Spring." Iran counterattacked through its allies in Gaza and Lebanon.

Having failed to veto the Israeli action, the U.S. once again sat in the back seat, offering minimal assistance and trying vainly to keep the Straits of Hormuz open without firing a shot in anger. (When the entire crew of an American battleship was captured and held hostage by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, President Obama's slim chance of re-election evaporated.)

Turkey seized the moment to take the Iranian side, while at the same time repudiating Atatürk's separation of the Turkish state from Islam. Emboldened by election victory, the Muslim Brotherhood seized the reins of power in Egypt, repudiating its country's peace treaty with Israel. The king of Jordan had little option but to follow suit. The Saudis seethed but could hardly be seen to back Israel, devoutly though they wished to avoid a nuclear Iran.

Israel was entirely isolated. The U.S. was otherwise engaged as President Mitt Romney focused on his Bain Capital-style "restructuring" of the federal government's balance sheet.

It was in the nick of time that the United States of Europe intervened to prevent the scenario that Germans in particular dreaded: a desperate Israeli resort to nuclear arms. Speaking from the U.S.E. Foreign Ministry's handsome new headquarters in the Ringstrasse, the European President Karl von Habsburg explained on Al Jazeera: "First, we were worried about the effect of another oil price hike on our beloved euro. But above all we were afraid of having radioactive fallout on our favorite resorts."

Looking back on the previous 10 years, Mr. von Habsburg—still known to close associates by his royal title of Archduke Karl of Austria—could justly feel proud. Not only had the euro survived. Somehow, just a century after his grandfather's deposition, the Habsburg Empire had reconstituted itself as the United States of Europe.

Small wonder the British and the Scandinavians preferred to call it the Wholly German Empire.

18 November 2011

Obamacare, We Hardly Knew Ye

Music to read by:

 Bittersweet Symphony

From my favourite Progressive writer and one of the very few that would get the special individual, protector shield before the Earth is hit by Asteroid XJ458OnlyVaporisersProgsUponImpact65483, Walter Russell Mead.

Obamacare isn’t dead, but the NYT is already writing its obituary. Two years ago, governors who filed lawsuits challenging the healthcare bill’s constitutionality were dismissed as Red State extremists and ideologues with names like Butch” Otter.

Hadn’t they read the Commerce Clause, the bien pensant press would ask.  What kind of Flat Earthers were these people, anyway?

Today, not even the White House seems sure that its healthcare reform bill is constitutional.

Until the Court rules — something of a throw of the dice — nobody really knows what will happen to the health care law.  (At the time of the ratification debates over the Constitution, this feature that important laws would be passed and would operate for some time before people knew whether they were in fact legal was considered one of the Constitution’s weak spots.)

As they sweat out the months before the Court issues its decision, the healthcare experts who drafted the bill don’t know if it’s dead, but revealingly enough they are already talking about what they should have done differently.

President Obama campaigned against the individual mandate at the heart of the controversy over constitutionality, and the decision to embrace it was not a natural one for him.  The second guessing is well under way:
Health insurers also insisted on a mandate, as did the Democrats who controlled Congress. In July 2009, Mr. Obama told CBS News that he was “now in favor of some sort of individual mandate as long as there’s a hardship exemption” for people who truly could not afford to buy insurance.
While the White House may have been prepared for the public unhappiness over the provision, it appears to have been caught off guard by the constitutional challenge — in part because Obama advisers regarded the mandate as a conservative notion. The idea gained currency in the early 1990s, when some Republicans proposed their own version of an “individual mandate” as an alternative to the “employer mandate” in President Bill Clinton’s health plan.
Polls show that the individual mandate is unpopular. The Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks public opinion on the health measure, reported in March that 74 percent of Americans would keep, rather than repeal, the law’s provision barring insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. But only 27 percent would keep the mandate. (A CNN poll released Monday found that 52 percent supported the mandate, up from 44 percent in June, though unlike Kaiser, CNN did not explain that failure to comply would result in a fine.)
The mandate is the lynchpin in the system; its role is to make insurance affordable.  Unless millions of people who don’t think they need insurance are paying into the system, those who know they need it (mostly, the sick) will be faced with unpayable premiums.  Take the mandate out, and even if the rest of the bill passes Constitutional muster, we are looking at a fiscal train wreck.

There are ways around this.  Under the Constitution, Congress has very wide powers of taxation; presumably one could simply raise income taxes on all Americans, including the poor, and offer tax rebates for those who purchase health insurance.  This would if anything even more unpopular than the current law, but the constitutional case would be much easier to make.   Practically speaking, getting new laws passed now is probably beyond the administration’s power — at least as long as the GOP has a grip on the House and enough votes in the Senate to block cloture.

The Supreme Court building in Washington DC
If the Supreme Court decision goes against the individual mandate, the progressive imagination will be haunted for decades by what historians will consider one of the great legislative and political blunders of all time.  A rare perfect storm of political forces brought liberals the most power they have had since 1934 and 1964.  If history records that this generation’s progressive leaders threw that moment of power away by an easily correctable mistake in legislative draftmanship, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will be forever remembered as the greatest legislative bunglers in American history.  College students in generations yet unborn will rub their eyes in disbelief when they get to this part of the story.

(Indeed, when we consider what future students will think about an era that includes the Lewinsky affair, the Y2K and bird flu panics, the WMD mistake in Iraq, and then, if the Court rules against it, the healthcare fiasco, it is easy to see why the Baby Boom is looking more and more like a generation of clowns.)

I am less worried about the bitter mockery of future generations, however, than I am about what is in the rest of the bill.  Even if the Court upholds it, it is clear that sheer arrogance and legislative incompetence led the architects of this massive reform to endanger their own handiwork by clumsy design.

An inescapable question unavoidably follows. If the authors of this historic reform were that careless and clueless about the central pillar of their plan, what else did they get wrong?  What other incompetencies and tomfooleries lie hidden in the depths of this bill?  How many perverse and unintended consequences will emerge as the consequences of this law unfold? What clever lobbyists managed to get provisions embedded in the text that will make healthcare more expensive and less effective than it could and should have been?

Writing a bill that passes constitutional muster should be easy in a Congress so rich in lawyers and legislation writers.  Writing a bill that successfully improves American healthcare delivery while controlling costs, on the other hand, is hard.

Very, very hard.

If they did so poorly at the easy part of their task, the part where we can actually measure and monitor their success, what kind of mess have they made of the hard and murky parts that nobody, including the authors of the bill, really understands?

Some critics of the healthcare bill act as if there were some simple solutions that the Obamacare authors willfully disregarded.  That’s unfortunately far from true; healthcare is almost infinitely complicated.  (Disclosure: members of the Mead clan have been burying patients since the 19th century and Drs. Allen and Philip carry the family tradition today.  It isn’t clear whether the fifth generation will send a representative into medicine, but I’ve been hearing about healthcare and its complexities since my grandfather took me on his rounds.)  Every patient presents individual problems; every practice, every hospital has its own unique characteristics.  No healthcare system is going to be completely satisfactory or solve every problem.

There are some real strengths in the current health care law, and Peter Orszag makes a good case for the benefits of the law in Foreign Affairs.  But the dubious mandate at the core of the law gives one pause; from a policy standpoint it might not be a bad thing if the Supremes send this one back to Capitol Hill.

- WALTER RUSSELL MEAD, Editor-at-Large of The American Interest magasine, Progressive, Yale University Professor, recognised as one of the leading authorities on American foreign policy, writes for several journals, magasines and newspapers such as Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, registered Democrat, and Barack Obama voter and supporter, 17 November 2011

Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Tryin' to make ends meet
You're a slave to money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet, yeah

You know I can't change, I can change
I can change, I can change
But I'm here in my mold
I am here in my mold
But I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mold
No, no, no, no, no
Have you ever been down?, have you ever been down?

Well I never pray
But tonight I'm on my knees, yeah
I need to hear some sounds
that recognize the pain in me, now
I let the melody shine,
let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now

You know i can't change, I can change
I can change, I can change
But I'm here in my mold
I am here in my mold
But I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mold
No, no, no, no, no
Have you ever been down?, have you ever been down?

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Tryin' to make ends meet
You're a slave to money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

You know i can't change, I can change
I can change, I can change
But I'm here in my mold
I am here in my mold
But I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mold
No, no, no, no, no
Have you ever been down?, have you ever been down?

I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
Ever been down
Have you ever been down?, Ooh

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, yeah
'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, yeah
My life
Your life
Their lives

Come take it down the only road I've ever been down
'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, yeah
This life, this life, this life... 

Related Posts:

Thoughts On Obamacare To A Proponent


17 November 2011

CBO: President's "Stimulus" Hurts Long-Term Economic Growth

Via Glenn Reynolds, Peter Suderman at Reason has a video of CBO Chief Douglas Elmendorf testifying before the Senate Budget Committee last week:

The quote that matters starts around 1:25, when Elmendorf says that, according to CBO's estimates, with the stimulus legislation in place, "the level of GDP would be a little lower at the end. That is, a net negative effect on the growth of GDP over 10 years." Elmendorf then confirms that CBO estimates that the economic drag will continue in the following decade:
SESSIONS: And in the next 10 years, since you're carrying that debt and paying interest on it and the stimulus value is long since gone, it would be a continual negative of some effect?
ELMENDORF: Yes, it would represent a drag on the level of GDP beyond that, if no other actions were taken.
Still, it's worth noting, if only because even the mildly Keynesian congressional scorekeeper agrees that borrowing $800 billion dollars ultimately creates a drag on the economy and a net loss in economic performance relative to what otherwise might have been. And yet the administration went ahead with the legislation anyway, arguing that it would be more or less a free lunch in the long run
Screwing up the economy for a decade - that's a record the president should be proud to run on.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

"Just Like The TEA Party"

Rather than just an unordered list, I was thinking it might be helpful to categorize the mayhem by type.

  • Arson

  • Assault/Threats

  • Drugs/Dealing

    • Occupy Boston – Two drug busts in a week
    • Occupy Boston – Another drug arrest
    • Occupy Boston – Heroin dealers busted were living with 6 year old boy directly behind welcome tent
    • Occupy Portland – First hand account “Drugs. Selling…Heroin. Meth.”
    • Occupy Portland – Video of open drug use in the camp
    • Occupy Portland – “I get high

  • Fraud

  • Illness/Death

  • Murder

  • Public disturbance

  • Rape/Sexual Assault

  • Sedition

    • Occupy DC – Let’s have a coup by taking over the military
    • Ted Rall wants occupiers to choose the path of violence
    • Occupy DC – Mike Malloy incites crowd to cheer for President Bush’s execution

  • Suicide/Overdose

  • Theft

    • Occupy Portland – Theft is ongoing
    • Occupy Boston – Store owner suffers 4 break-ins since camp began

  • Vandalism

  • I’m leaving some out, but these are the ones we’ve covered on the blog so far.

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    And, Now, The Communist Party of the USA Joins, Too:  First Brown, Then Red